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African Queen
8 Chestnut Grove
South Devon

Bits and Bobs Poems

Four Poems, one by young Nina Coldham, who features annually on our photo page, given to us in her best handwriting, written with her best silver ink pen after fishing with us one day. One by a very wise man, and two by a couple of very special Ladies.

Ode to the African Queen

Alan’s the Captain of the African Queen
The finest boat I’ve ever seen
It glides so smoothly through the sea
To find out where the fish may be.
Hilary is great at fixing my bait
I drop my line and then we wait
I feel a tug and make a wish
I hope it is a big big fish.
By the end of the day I’d got the best catch
The other guys had met their match.

By Nina Coldham aged 9

21 July 2004

A Wise Man

Only after the last tree has been cut down
Only after the last green field has been turned to desert
Only after the last river has been poisoned
Only after the last fish has been caught
Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten

• Translation from a North American Indian book of wisdom

Mother Love

You taught me from an early age that life was very dear
To come to you with anything I may begin to fear
You taught me how to skip and jump, you taught me how to laugh
You taught me how to walk along life’s very winding path
And so I’d like to thank you for the day that I was born
For all the love you gave me from your heart that is now worn

There is one thing you did not teach and that’s how hard it would be
When you finally went to heaven, and you I could not see
But in your faith and wisdom you knew I’d somehow cope
That I’d look up into the sky and find your love and hope

The sun I saw it shining and felt your warmth inside
And knew you were with me and standing by my side
The moon it shone so full and bright and I divided it into four
And each part represented a golden shiny door

The first one held your wisdom, the second held your love
The third it held sincerity, the fourth it held a dove
And this it flew to a twinkling star shining bright up in the sky
And that is when I knew I did not have to say goodbye


If I look out of the window when I am in my home
I find that twinkling little star and know I’m not alone

Written by Cynthia and dedicated to her mother Rebecca Joan, with love always.

I'm Very Well Thankyou
Sylvia Leadbetter

There is nothing the matter with me.
I'm as healthy as can be.
I have arthritis in both my knees.
And when I talk I talk with a wheeze.
My pulse is weak and my blood is thin.
But I'm awfully well for the shape I'm in.
Arch supports I have for my feet.
Or I wouldn't be able to be out on the street.
Sleep is denied me night after night.
My memory is failing, my head's in a spin.
But I'm awfully well for the shape I'm in.
The moral is this - as my tale I unfold.
That for you and me who are getting old.
It's better to say, "I'm fine" with a grin.
Than to let folks know of the shape we're in.
How do I know that my youth is all spent?
Well, my 'get up and go' has got up and went.
But I really don't mind when I think, with a grin.
Of all the grand places my 'got up' has bin.
Old age is golden I've heard said.
But sometimes I wonder as I get into bed,
With my ears in a draw, my teeth in a cup,
My specs on a table until I get up.
As sleep overtakes me I say to myself
"Is there anything else I could lay on the shelf?
When I was young my slippers were red.
I could kick my heels right over my head.
When I was older my slippers were blue,
But still I could dance the whole night through.
Now I am old my slippers are black.
I walk to the shop and puff my way back.
I get up each morning and dust of my wits
And pick up the paper and read the 'obits'.
If my name is still missing I know I'm not dead
And so I have breakfast and-go back to bed.